Solving a problem with a business

Complaining to a business is often straightforward. However, if you have a problem with a product or a service, try the options for returning an item before contacting Consumer and Business Services (CBS).

Resolving issues and lodging complaints videos on the CBS YouTube channel also offer some good advice about getting a refund, a repair or replacement. You can choose from a list of preferred languages - Arabic, Dinka, English, Farsi, Nepalese, Tamil and Karen.

Speak to the business

Visit the business or speak to them on the phone and explain the problem. It can help to have any contracts, paperwork or receipts with you when you speak with them. Remember to keep a record of your contact and include:

  • the name and job title of the person you spoke with
  • the dates you contacted them
  • what was discussed, including what they suggested.

Contact the business in writing

A complaint letter or email that clearly states the problem and any purchase information - eg copy of the receipt - can help the business understand what needs to be fixed. This is also a record of your contact with them.

A complaint letter should include all the information the business needs. Consider using the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's interactive complaint letter to write your letter and then copy, email or print it.

If the business has closed down, you can contact the manufacturer directly.

Consumer complaint checklist

I have:

  • checked that the item or service is covered by a consumer guarantee
  • kept my receipt or proof of purchase
  • attempted to contact the seller to fix the problem
  • kept a record of my contact with the seller.

If speaking to the business hasn't fixed the problem, contact CBS for consumer advice. If you email, select consumer advice from the subject list and make sure you include:

  • your full name
  • the name and location of the business
  • a description of the problem.

You can also ask that CBS get involved with your negotiations or check the Legal Services Commission website for 24 hour advice. These requests are not accepted via email, please phone 131 882, extension 5.

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Page last updated 26 April 2018

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Attorney-General's Department
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